Sept. 22, 2013
Auburn's Sammie Coates broke the 100-yard barrier for the first time in his career (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Phillip Marshall
BATON ROUGE, La. - Sophomore Sammie Coates had his long-awaited breakout game in Saturday's 35-21 loss to LSU at Tiger Stadium.
Coates caught four passes for 139 yards from quarterback Nick Marshall. He had gains of 52, 42, 31 and 14 yards.
"They were just plays we'd been working all week," Coates said. "When he called them, the line held up and the quarterback made good throws."
Coates said he saw no panic in Auburn players when LSU went ahead 21-0.
"We knew we were going to come back," Coates said. "We weren't going to quit. We missed opportunities. We have to keep fighting every week to get better. We have to look at this game as something we can learn from."
Whitehead ends Mettenberger's streak
LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger had not thrown an interception thrown 77 passes without an interception when he dropped back on the first play of the third quarter. Auburn junior safety Jermaine Whitehead put an end to that streak
Mettenberger threw for wide receiver Jarvis Landry on the sideline, but Whitehead got there first.
"I think the quarterback wanted to try me a little bit," Whitehead said. "It was a bang-bang play. I think the rush had a lot to do with it. We were sending a blitz and I knew he wanted to go to 80 (Landry)."
Whitehead's interception led to a drive to Auburn's first touchdown of the game.
Malzahn aggressive until the end
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn made it clear until the end that he was still trying to win the game.
With more than eight minutes left in the game, the Tigers went on fourth-and-2 at their own 20. Cameron Artis-Payne ran for 4 yards. He finished off an 88-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown run with 6:33.
After that touchdown, Malzahn called for an onsides kick. Officials on the field said Auburn recovered, but replay officials overturned it, saying it didn't go 10 yards.
Most productive half for Auburn offense
In the second half, Auburn's offense had its most productive two quarters of the season against LSU's vaunted defense.
The Tigers had touchdown drives of 96 and 88 yards, ran 48 plays and gained 333 yards.
McKinzy, Therezie top tacklers
Weakside linebacker Cassanova McKinzy and star Robenson Therezie led Auburn with eight tackles apiece. Safety Ryan Smith and middle linebacker Kris Frost had six tackles apiece. McKinzy had one solo sack and combined with middle linebacker Jake Holland for another.
Auburn had six tackles for loss, compared to four for LSU.
Alabamian Kwon Alexander, once a prime Auburn recruiting target, had 10 tackles for LSU.
Early trouble for Auburn in the rain
Auburn players struggled early to cope with the rain and wet field, Malzahn said. Those struggles led directly to LSU's first touchdown when punter Steven Clark dropped the snap from center and was tackled at the 10-yard line.
* Auburn lost at Tiger Stadium for the seventh consecutive time.
* Running back Tre Mason had the fourth 100-yard rushing game of his Auburn career, running 26 times for 132 yards.
* Wide receiver Ricardo Louis had a career-high five catches for 24 yards.
* Freshman wide receiver Tony Stevens caught the first two passes of his Auburn career.
* Kiehl Frazier lost a yard on his only run as Auburn's wildcat quarterback.
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: